How to check if an ivory item you are buying or hiring has been correctly registered or certified, and how to register as a new owner.
You cannot buy or hire ivory items unless they are registered as exempt or certified as exempt, under the Ivory Act 2018.
The Ivory Act 2018 applies to dealing in items containing ivory or made of ivory. It is both the seller’s and the buyer’s responsibility, as well as that of anyone involved in arranging a sale or purchase to check if an item can be lawfully traded.
If you are selling an ivory item read the guide for dealing in items containing ivory or made of ivory.
If you are buying or hiring an exempted item, you need to feel confident that it has been correctly registered or certified and meets the exemption conditions. You could be committing an offence under the Act if you do not carry out due diligence.
When an item is registered the owner will get a reference number. When an item is certified the owner will get an exemption certificate. Before you agree to buy or hire an item, ask the owner for confirmation of the item’s registration or the exemption certification document.
An exemption certificate will contain information on the type of item, the location of the ivory and any distinguishing features, and a photograph of the item.
This should help you check the item you are being offered is the item certified. After a purchase, the exemption certificate should be passed to the new owner with the ivory item.
You can also send the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) the registration reference number or exemption certificate number to be sent photographs and information about that item.
Before you buy or hire an item you should ask for copies of the documents and supporting evidence that was used to register the item or apply for the exemption certificate.
If you are a new owner of an ivory item
If you are the new owner of an ivory item, you must contact the APHA to notify them. You’ll need to provide:
- the item’s registration submission reference number or exemption certificate reference number
- your name
- your postal address
- your email address
There is no fee to update these details as a new owner.